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Chapter XXIII

1. CHINE spake Jehovih's words, saying: They have sought after pleasure, and after thee, O earth! They have bowed down to men, to the king and the rich man, and now, behold their misery! The king said: Come serve me. Take thy spear, and thy strong bow and arrow, and come with me. I will show thee great delights; thou shalt slaughter my enemies; and I will give thee wages.

2. And they ran to serve the king; yea, they washed their hands in the blood of My innocent ones. Because the king said: Brave!   Good slaughterer! Then were they pleased, highly recompensed!

3. I have said: Ye are on the wrong road; serve only Me, for I am Good Delights. Because ye slay one another, the land will not be tilled; ye are hungered and ragged. And they queried: What will Jehovih give for wages? More than the king?

4. Herein is thy weakness, O man! Thou sayest: Wait a little while, I will serve the man first; and afterward Jehovih.

5. What profit hast thou in thy brother's death? With all his treasures of gold and silver, what hast thou?

6. Behold, even they that choose Me and My ways, thou wilt not suffer to live in peace. Because they say: My Creator is my King; Him will I serve. The king saith: Go for them; slaughter them! They put Jehovih higher than me!

7. And thou sayest: It is a good and wholesome thing to serve the king, and kill his enemies. To serve my country by killing men, this is great glory!

8. But the voice of My beloved rose up to Me; My lambs fleeing before the wolves, and driven away from My goodly pastures. Behold Me, I am come to them, to the lovers of peace and virtue and loving kindness. My hand is stretched over them in great power; My word is given unto them, and is not dead.

9. I will call them together; they shall again hold up their heads and rejoice because of My Presence.

10. After Jehovih's voice came to Chine he traveled far and near; and because of his wonderful wisdom, men of great learning and even kings sent for him. And wherever he went he preached after the same manner, for peace and love, and against war.

11. For three years Chine traveled, proclaiming the Creator above all else in heaven and earth. And then he rested one hundred and forty days, sleeping like a young child, saying naught more than a child would say.

12. Then came a change upon Chine; he was as a new man in the world, and not as a God. And he rose up, saying: My Father, Creator of men, calleth me. I hear His voice. It is like a burning fire in my soul, moving me. Not with pain, but with great power. He saith:

13. Chine, My Son! Chine, My Son! My house is on fire! My little ones are burning. Go thou, Chine, to them. They are in fear and trembling; they know not what way to turn. The kings of the earth have outlawed them; they are hunted down, and are famished. Go thou to them, O Chine! For that end created I thee alive in the world; thou shalt be My Voice unto them.

14. Chine said: Jehovih saith: Who can overcome the fire when he remaineth in the house? He goeth outside where there is water. Call thou My people out of the house of My enemies. Give them a well spring of clean water; they are parched up and   athirst. Say to them: Jehovih liveth! His love aboundeth; come ye to My fountains that are not dried up. Come ye and hear the covenant of My Son, Chine.

15. I swear to Thee, O Jehovih, Thou my Almighty! I will have no other God but Thee, Thou Creator! All Light, Most Glorious! Thou art my King! Holy, Holy, Ever Present! O my Captain, my All Highest Captain! I salute Thee in the Rising Sun! In the High Noon, most Mighty! And in the sweet Setting Sun!

16. I know nothing but Thee; to Thee I swear this my most solemn oath, O Jehovih! Call Thou up Thy angels, holy and most wise; Thy recording angels! They shall hear my covenant unto Thee, My Creator! They shall write it in the books of heaven, O my Master! And whilst the sun standeth, and the moon and the earth and the stars, my oath unto Thee shall stand up against me:

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17. Thou only shalt be my King; Thou only shalt be my God and Heavenly Ruler. All other kings I forswear, and all other Gods and captains and great rulers: None of them will I bow down to or worship, forever. I, Chine, have spoken.

18. I swear unto Thee, Thou Great Spirit, Thou art my bond to the end of the world. I will not war nor abet war; to peace forever am I sworn. And though they impress me and torture me, or slay me outright, they shall not force me; I will not draw one drop of blood in any man or woman or child whom Thou hast created alive on the earth.

19. I swear unto thee, Thou All Person, Who art so large that the earth and sun and stars would not fill the hollow of Thy hand; to be like unto Thee, O Jehovih. Fair dealing unto all men, as Thou wouldst; good, forgiving and without anger, forever. And equally in all possessions with Thy chosen, O Jehovih.

20. To raise them up that are cast down; to deliver the afflicted and helpless; to render not evil, nor the fruit of anger, unto any man, forever, O Jehovih.   And good to them that abuse me; and in my actions steadfast in Thy course, my Creator.

21. In my blood do I covenant with thee; by the veins in my flesh make oath forever. To wed not out of Thy Order, the Hi-tspe. Blood of the blood of Thy chosen shall be my heirs and my heirs after me, forever.

22. Hear me, O Jehovih: I make a new covenant; it shall be written upon the firmament of heaven. I will do good with all my might; the tears of the suffering poor shall be as scalding blood in my veins; I will not sit down and rest, nor take my ease, nor hold possessions whilst they are in want.

23. Prick me, O my Father in heaven; sharpen my conscience keener than a sword; drive me to labor for the poor and afflicted, give me no rest, but whilst I am doing good unto them.

24. O that my covenant were set with swords, pointing every way; that I could find no peace but in serving Thee, my Creator, Ormazd. And I were pure and strong and wise and swifter than life and death, and as unfailing.

25. And that my oath reached unto thy chosen, and they heard me; that my voice was sweet unto them, and enticing like an early love.

26. That they would come forth from their hiding places, Thy faithful children, and be not afraid.

27. I would go to them as a lover, and bow my head down to them for their long suffering, and their faith unto Thee, Jehovih.

28. As a father that has lost his son and found him again, I would take them in my arms, Thy worshippers, Thou All One, Everlasting Spirit.

29. As a rose-bush trampled in the mire; how they have been scourged, O Jehovih. Poor unto death, and ragged and scattered. But I would wash them clean, and give them new soil; their voices in song and praise should gladden the whole earth.

Next: Chapter XXIV